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Conferences in a digital age: Using technology to engage delegates

By Jennifer Young, Head of ConferenceLeeds, with insight from the Conference and Hospitality Show

For conference organisers, one of the most important factors that goes into delivering a successful conference, is the ability to engage delegates in new and exciting ways. Taking advantage of developments in technology and being innovative with how it’s used, will lead to having delegates that are not only engaged but also entertained, making your event more memorable and turning delegates into advocates.

Looking to the Conference and Hospitality Show as an example, the team there used Ingo, a social media event marketing plugin, to engage visitors and turn them into advocates pre-event. The app integrates with an event’s registration page, allowing visitors to register via one of their own social media channels, and encourages them to invite their contacts to attend too. This in turn helps boost visitor numbers – something that was evident with the show this year!

At ConferenceLeeds, we worked with Wildgoose ahead of attending the Conference and Hospitality Show to create our own app, with the aim of providing an exciting interactive alternative to traditional marketing activity. The objective of the app was to educate delegates about the city of Leeds, whilst capturing conference attendee data in an innovative and engaging way. Those using the app were presented with a series of quick fire questions about the city, its key venues and conference centres. This was a really useful exercise, as it provided us with an accurate and immediate ROI. We were able to gain in-depth knowledge into how delegates engage with us, the conference and the city as a whole, which we’ve been able to take away and use in our day-to-day work now.